• Paint "Schemes" of railroad signaling

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

  by ApproachMedium
So an interesting discussion came up at my model railroad club as we are installing our signal system. Since our layout represents nothing, and is basically an operational "museum" style display layout we decided that no one type of signal prototype had to be used over the entire layout, but rather scenes would contain one set of signals from one railroad. Another scene could contain signals from a different railroad etc. A member of the club decided to start painting one set of signals with the top half of the mast black, and left the bottom half silver. The signal heads themselves and backfaces are also black. The prototype he was going off here was from Conrail, as many of the CR G target type signals were set up this way.

Now, my question is what other railroads besides Conrail painted signals this way? Black top section, silver bottom section? Was there a reason for it? Also what other schemes were used? I recall some railoads out west maybe the UP painted the entire signal silver. The C&O signals were always all black. How did your favorite railroad paint their signals? And if you have photos to share, esp historic ones would be excellent. Thanks!
  by ExCon90
This may go back further than my memory does, but I believe Conrail, whose signals had been black all the way, adopted the black-and-silver scheme during Spence's presidency. There was talk at the time that he liked it that way, having come from the SP; as I recall, the SP signals were silver from top to bottom. (Does your layout have any semaphores? Semaphore blades are where you can really have some variety.)
  by ApproachMedium
No semaphores, yet. Its been difficult to find a system that can reliably control a mechanical signal like that in 3 positions while getting the 3rd middle position correct every time.